The US$867-billion bill becomes law for the next five years
By Diego Flammini
President Trump signed a crucial piece of ag legislation yesterday.
With this signature, he officially enacted the five-year US$867-billion 2018 Farm Bill.
It reauthorizes funding for several programs, outlines a plan for increased broadband access in rural communities, legalizes commercial hemp production and dedicates resources to helping with the opioid crisis.
“By signing this bill, we are protecting our crop insurance programs and funding that producers rely on in times of disaster,” President Trump said during the signing ceremony. “With the passage of the Farm Bill, we are delivering to the farmers and ranchers, who are the heart and soul of America, all sorts of things that they never even thought possible.”
Farmers are pleased the uncertainty surrounding the Farm Bill is over.
“I know I’ve planted at least one year without knowing which Farm Bill I was operating under,” Terry McClure, a soybean producer from Grover Hill, Ohio, told Farms.com.
The 2018 bill isn’t much different than then 2014 version, but some items in the new bill will allow farmers to have more flexibility, McClure said.
“The basics haven’t changed a lot, but there’s opportunities for us as farmers, as we’ve improved yields, to look at our (Price Loss Coverage) choices on a yearly basis,” he said. “The safety net is more up to date with what we need and I think it will be good for farmers going into 2019.”
The USDA also welcomed President Trump’s signature on the Farm Bill.
“This is a great day for our farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers, as President Trump’s signature on this bill is a Christmas present to American agriculture,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement yesterday. “Since early talks on this Farm Bill began back in 2017, I’ve always believed it would more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and that has borne out to be true.”
President Trump signs the Farm Bill at the 24:00-minute mark.